Ch17_Outline

Ch17_Outline - 1 Chapter 17 Groundwater Importance of...

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Unformatted text preview: 1 Chapter 17 Groundwater Importance of groundwater ¡ Groundwater is water found in the pores of soil and sediment, plus narrow fractures in bedrock ¡ Groundwater is the largest reservoir of fresh water that is readily available to humans Importance of groundwater ¡ Geological role of groundwater • As an erosional agent, dissolving groundwater produces • Sinkholes • Caverns • Groundwater serves as an equalizer of streamflow 2 Fresh water of the hydrosphere Table 17.1 Distribution of groundwater ¡ Belt of soil moisture – water held by molecular attraction on soil particles in the near-surface zone ¡ Zone of saturation • Formation • Water not held as soil moisture percolates downward Distribution of groundwater ¡ Zone of saturation • Formation • Water reaches a zone where all of the open spaces in sediment and rock are completely filled with water • Water within the pores is called groundwater • Water table – the upper limit of the zone of saturation 3 Distribution of groundwater ¡ Capillary fringe • Extends upward from the water table • Groundwater is held by surface tension in tiny passages between grains of soil or sediment Distribution of groundwater ¡ Zone of aeration • Area above the water table • Includes the capillary fringe and the belt of soil moisture • Water cannot be pumped by wells Distribution of groundwater Figure 17.2 4 The water table ¡ The water table is the upper limit of the zone of saturation ¡ Variations in the water table • Depth is highly variable • Varies seasonably and from year to year • Shape is usually a subdued replica of the surface topography The water table ¡ Variations in the water table • Factors that contribute to the irregular surface of the water table • Water tends to “pile up” beneath high areas • Variations in rainfall • Variations in permeability from place to place The water table ¡ Interaction between groundwater and streams • Constitutes a basic link in the hydrologic...
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This note was uploaded on 07/17/2008 for the course GS 121 taught by Professor Leavell during the Fall '07 term at Ohio State.

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Ch17_Outline - 1 Chapter 17 Groundwater Importance of...

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